Adult Learning and Leadership MA

Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Leadership


Lifelong learning for adults is an increasingly important educational specialization in the 21st century. Rapid changes are transforming society and making it critical for adults to continue to learn across the lifespan. Much of that learning takes place in classrooms, but a lot of learning also occurs informally through interaction in groups, communities, organizations, and social networks.

The Adult Learning & Leadership program, at the M.A. level, prepares professionals who facilitate learning within and outside the classroom. The intellectual framework of the program examines the relationship of adult learning to organizational, management and leadership issues. The program prepares students to understand adult learning and development, to design and deliver learning interventions, and to assist organizations, communities, or other institutions to support learning for individuals and for the organizations or other social units that benefit from the lifelong learning of its members.

A student is engaged in conversation with one her peers at a study group at Teachers College.

Admissions Information

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 36
  • Entry Terms: Fall Only

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): April 15

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

Requirements from the TC Catalog

View Full Catalog Listing

Lifelong learning for adults is an increasingly important educational specialization in the 21st century. Rapid changes are transforming society and making it critical for adults to continue to learn across the lifespan. Much of that learning takes place in classrooms, but a lot of learning also occurs informally through interaction in groups, communities, organizations, and social networks.

The Adult Learning & Leadership program, at the M.A. level, prepares professionals who facilitate learning within and outside the classroom. The intellectual framework of the program examines the relationship of adult learning to organizational, management and leadership issues. The program prepares students to understand adult learning and development, to design and deliver learning interventions, and to assist organizations, communities, or other institutions to support learning for individuals and for the organizations or other social units that benefit from the lifelong learning of its members.

 

Minimum point requirement:

M.A. students must complete 36 credits of coursework and submit a culminating project. 

Required Coursework:

Foundations (6 credits):

  • ORLD 4050 Introduction to adult and continuing ed (3)

  • ORLD 4053 Facilitating adult learning (3)

Adult Development (3):

  • ORLD 4051 How adults learn (3)

  • ORLD 5070 Leadership for adult development (3)

Adult Learning Theory and Applications (3):

  • ORLD 4051 How adults learn (3)

  • ORLD 4060 Coaching from an adult learning perspective (3)

  • ORLD 4091 Somatics: Mind/body approach to leadership development (3)

  • ORLD 4815 Developing critical thinkers (1)

  • ORLD 4827 Fostering transformative learning (2-3)

  • ORLD 4828 Imagination, authenticity, and individuation in transformative learning (2-3)

  • ORLD 4844 Helping adults learn (1)

  • ORLD 4850 Discussion as a way of teaching (1)

  • ORLD 4855 Learning as a way of leading (1)

  • ORLD 4860 Teaching Race in Predominantly White Organizations (1)

  • ORLD 5057 Adult learning and education: Theory and practice (3)

  • ORLD 5815 Critical theory and adult learning (1)

  • ORLD 5823 Building 21st century organizational capability with cultural intelligence (CQ) (3)

Program Development and Evaluation (3 credits):

  • ORLD 5053 Developing and managing adult learning programs (3)

  • ORLD 5063 Online Teaching and Learning: Applying Adult Learning Principles  (3)

  • ORL 5522 Evaluation methods I (3)

Leadership (3 credits):

  • ORLD 4065 Leading Change in a Democratic Society  (3)

  • ORLD 4091 Somatics: Mind/body approach to leadership development (3)

  • ORLD 5023 Leadership and self-development (3)

  • ORLD 5540 Social entrepreneurship & leadership (3)

  • ORLD 5821 Leveraging emotional intelligence (EQ) to enhance organizational effectiveness (3)

Strategy and Management (3 credits):

  • ORLD 4085 Management & leadership skills in practice (3)

  • ORLD 5054 Strategy development as a learning process in organizations (3)

  • ORLD 6054 Learning to think strategically (3)

Research (3 credits):

  • ORLD 5073 Action learning design and coaching (3)

  • ORLD 5550 Research on organizational learning (3)

  • ORLD 6914 Learning Communities (2) (focused on research for the integrative project, can be combined with a 1-credit ORLD 5900 course with the student’s advisor, to meet the 3-credit research requirement)

  • ORL 5521 Introduction to research methods in education (3)

  • ORL 5522 Evaluations methods I (3)

  • ORLJ 4009 Understanding behavioral research (3)

  • HUDM 4050 Introduction to measurement (3)

  • HUDM 4120 Basic concepts in statistics (3)

  • HUDM 4122 Basic concepts in statistics (3)

  • BBSR 5582 Research design in movement science and education (3)

 

ELECTIVE COURSES (12 credits)

Electives include, but may not be limited to, courses in conflict resolution, policy and evaluation, technology for learning, and management/information systems. These are tailored to the student’s career goals and can be taken in the Department or elsewhere in Teachers College or Columbia University. Students are required to take a minimum of 6 points total at Teachers College outside of our immediate program area to satisfy the Teachers College breadth requirement. 

See recommended elective options below:

Systems Learning (3 credits, optional):

  • ORLD 4065 Leading change in a democratic society  (3)

  • ORLD 5061 The learning organization (3)

  • ORLD 5550 Research on organizational learning (3)

  • ORLD 5823 Building 21st century organizational capability with cultural intelligence (CQ) (3)

  • EDP 4027 Education and Social Transformations: Elites and Inequalities in Transitional Economies (offered as part of the Workforce Development Certificate) (3)

  • ORLJ 4800 Conflict and complexity: A dynamical system approach to addressing protracted conflict (3)

Human Resource Development (3 credits, optional):

  • ORLD 4060 Coaching from an adult learning perspective (3)

  • ORLD 5055 Staff development and training (3)

  • ORLD 5062 Human resource development in organizations (3)

  • ORLD 5073 Action learning design and coaching (3)

Group Dynamics (3 credits, optional):

  • ORLD 5822 Building productive relationships with social intelligence (SQ) (3)

  • ORL 5362 Group dynamics: A systems perspective (3)

Organizational Behavior (3 credits, optional):

  • ORLJ 4005 Organizational psychology (3) (Note: This is a prerequisite for many ORLJ courses)

  • ORLJ 5045 Organizational dynamics and theory (3)

  • EDPS 4030 Sociology of organizations (3)

Digital Learning Environments (3 credits, optional):

  • ORLD 5060 Learning and technology in organizations (3)

  • MSTU 4083 Instructional design of educational technology (3)

Conflict Resolution (3, optional):

  • ORLJ 4800 Conflict and complexity: a dynamical systems approach to addressing protracted conflict

  • ORLJ 5148 Managing conflicts in organizations (3)

  • ORLJ 5340 Adaptive negotiation & conflict resolution (3)

Coaching (3, optional)

  • ORLD 4060 Coaching from an adult learning perspective (3)

  • ORLD 5073 Action learning design and coaching (3)

  • ORLD 5821 Leveraging emotional intelligence (EQ) to enhance organizational effectiveness (3)

  • ORLD 5822 Building productive relationships with social intelligence (SQ) (3)

  • ORLD 5823 Building 21st century organizational capability with cultural intelligence (CQ) (3)

 

Final Project

M.A. (Culminating Project)

Required

The M.A. project is a project-based application to practice.

Guidelines for the M.A. Culminating Project are available in the Program of Study Advisement Guides (as downloadable files) located on the Adult Learning and Leadership program website.

Students should meet with their advisor the semester before they plan on graduating to review the guidelines.

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